Climate science: Amazon fires may enhance Andean glacier melting

November 28, 2019

Burning of the rainforest in southwestern Amazonia (the Brazilian, Peruvian and Bolivian Amazon) may increase the melting of tropical glaciers in the Andes, according to a study in Scientific Reports.

Newton de Magalhães Neto and colleagues modelled the possible effect of biomass burning in the Amazon Basin on the Bolivian Zongo Glacier using data collected between 2000 and 2016 on fire events, the movement of smoke plumes, precipitation and glacier melting. They found that aerosols from biomass burning, such as black carbon, can be transported by wind to tropical Andean glaciers. There they are deposited in snow and have the potential to increase glacier melting as snow that is darkened by black carbon or dust particles reflects less light (reduced albedo).

Focusing their analyses on the years 2007 and 2010 when fire seasons were the most critical for the Amazon Basin, the authors investigated the snow albedo reduction due to black carbon alone and black carbon in the presence of previously reported quantities of dust. Their model showed that black carbon or dust alone had the potential to increase annual glacier melting by 3-4%; or by 6% when both were present. If dust concentrations were high, dust alone had the potential to increase annual melting by 11-13% and by 12-14% in the presence of black carbon. The findings suggest that the impact of Amazon biomass burning depends on the dust content in snow.

Pressure related to global food demand may result in further expansion of Brazilian agriculture and deforestation, resulting in enhanced black carbon and CO2 emissions that may impact Andean glaciers.
-end-
Article and author details

Amazonian Biomass Burning Enhances Tropical Andean Glaciers Melting

Corresponding author:

Newton de Magalhães Neto (Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Tel: + 55 21 975 760 572;

E-mail: newtonmagalhaesbio@hotmail.com

DOI

10.1038/s41598-019-53284-1

Online paper

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-53284-1

* Please link to the article in online versions of your report (the URL will go live after the embargo ends)

Scientific Reports

Related Black Carbon Articles from Brightsurf:

Black hole or no black hole: On the outcome of neutron star collisions
A new study lead by GSI scientists and international colleagues investigates black-hole formation in neutron star mergers.

U.S.-born Black women at higher risk of preeclampsia than Black immigrants
Black women born in the United States have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy, a condition known as preeclampsia, compared to Black women who immigrated to the country.

The biggest trees capture the most carbon: Large trees dominate carbon storage in forests
A recent study examining carbon storage in Pacific Northwest forests demonstrated that although large-diameter trees (21 inches) only comprised 3% of total stems, they accounted for 42% of the total aboveground carbon storage.

The black hole always chirps twice: New clues deciphering the shape of black holes
A team of gravitational-wave scientists led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) reveal that when two black holes collide and merge, the remnant black hole 'chirps' not once, but multiple times, emitting gravitational waves--intense ripples in the fabric space and time--that inform us about its shape.

Carbon-carbon covalent bonds far more flexible than presumed
A Hokkaido University research group has successfully demonstrated that carbon-carbon (C-C) covalent bonds expand and contract flexibly in response to light and heat.

Metal wires of carbon complete toolbox for carbon-based computers
Carbon-based computers have the potential to be a lot faster and much more energy efficient than silicon-based computers, but 2D graphene and carbon nanotubes have proved challenging to turn into the elements needed to construct transistor circuits.

For black girls, attitudes about being black affect risk of depression
A new study suggests that the messages Black girls hear at home about being Black, and about being Black women in particular, can affect their risk of exhibiting the symptoms of depression.

'Black nitrogen'
In the periodic table of elements there is one golden rule for carbon, oxygen, and other light elements.

Tracking Southern Hemisphere black carbon to Antarctic snow
Biomass burning represents around 80% of all BC emitted to the atmosphere in the Southern Hemisphere, which means that the fires happening in Australia, New Zealand and South America ultimately leave a mark in Antarctic snow.

Black hole team discovers path to razor-sharp black hole images
A team of researchers have published new calculations that predict a striking and intricate substructure within black hole images from extreme gravitational light bending.

Read More: Black Carbon News and Black Carbon Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.